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One Man's Trash….

Well, you know the old saying. But here’s a story from Cornwall (England) to get Lego enthusiasts making vacation plans for the southern UK beaches. Read the full story from the BBC here

Lego octopus from Devon, England. Courtesy of the BBC

Seems that a rogue wave hit the container ship Tokio Express back in 1997 and washed off several containers about 20 miles west of Land’s End. One of the containers was chock-a-block with Legos, about 5 million of them. 17 years later, they’re still washing up.

And not just in England. One of them has been identified as far away as the beaches of Victoria, Australia!

The interest in all this to me is that some of this flotsam is actually considered quite rare and valuable. Here’s a quote from the story:

“These days the holy grail is an octopus or a dragon. I only know of three octopuses being found, and one was by me, in a cave in Challaborough, Devon,” [writer Tracey] Williams told the BBC. “It’s quite competitive. If you heard that your neighbor had found a green dragon, you’d want to go out and find one yourself.”

Do you readers recall the exhibit Message in a Bottle from 2009 at The Mariners’ Museum on beach and ocean pollution? The Lego story reminded me very strongly of the wonderful student sculptures outside the Museum and those fantastic photos of trash on the beach by Andy Hughes. I’ll leave you with one of those photographs. While such trash certainly is not treasure to me, it was to Andy Hughes and to the student sculptors. In the eye and hand of the artist, miraculous transformations do take place.

GWITHIAN BEACH, WEST CORNWALL, ENGLAND, by Andy Hughes, MS0383, Andy Hughes Photographs, The Mariners’ Museum Library
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